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"You have a candidate in mind,
Vincent?" Father's voice wavered a little; he was out of the public eye
and felt safe, surrounded by the things that mattered to him,
surrounded by those who knew - those who shared his unique vision of
the destiny of mankind.
"We have a number of logical
prospects, but one does stand out amongst all of the others." While
Father was the figurehead of this new society, behind him lurked a
number of shadows, one could almost say they were Libria and they were
the true face behind the mask of so-called freedom. Vincent was
slightly shorter than his superior; he wore the trademark black
clothing of the newly founded order - Flint eyes were set in a hollow
face, a face that was haunted somehow.
"How long has it been, my
"Since all of this, the
great decline of our morality and the rebirth of this new founded
order...how long has it been, since we took charge of our own destiny?"
Father turned to gaze out of the large window, surrounded by the
trappings of his own material needs. "After the third world war, we
needed this Vincent, power is in the hands of those who know what to do
"Quite." The younger man
stepped to the side, looking out of the window onto the conformity
before them. "A testament to the vision that we had, you approve?"
"It is close, but there is
still the capacity that remains...the one thing that we determined to
be a danger to our new society." Father's eyes fell upon the man before
him as he turned a half step, tapping the sill of the window with his
"You have them, I have them,
but what good are /we/ without them? How can we hope to lead, to guide
and to make choices if we cannot feel?" Vincent was concerned and
Father laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Prozium." He spoke the word
as if it were some kind of miracle, some kind of wondrous all-powerful
solution to the problem, of feeling.
"But that has never been
tested on anyone outside of the program before, I shudder every time I
think of one of those poor souls." Vincent shut his eyes and a weight
settled upon him, for a moment, before the cold tones of Father dragged
"Sacrifices must be made for
the greater good, Vincent...you know as well as I, that there are
always side effects and problems with a new drug." Now there was a
certain fanaticism about his voice, as he continued. "But think on
this, if it works, it would be the perfect answer - imagine a society
where they are equal and all emotion is rendered into a single harmony.
No war, no violence and no bloodshed. Paradise, Eden...a Utopia."
"But what of the council?"
"Ah, I have already thought
ahead, we shall be exempt from Prozium, but we shall also create a mask
of illusion to cover this fact." Father chuckled a little, amused at
his own ingenuity. "We shall guide them, they will follow and we will
educate the masses properly."
"What if some resist?"
"Yes, for that we have the
Sweepers and our protege's, the Clerics...how is the program coming?"
"The Clerics?" Vincent
nodded and flipped a screen around, to demonstrate via visual means the
efficiency of the newly formed order, almost monastic and very deadly
the Clerics of the Tetragrammaton were the last and final defence of
Father's order. Or so he envisioned.
"Gun Kata...a brilliant
device, the perfect weapon for the perfect - warrior."
"Yes Father, we have
determined that Gun Kata and all of our martial training has been
effective, within the next week we shall see the first of the newly
trained Clerics, but one thing worries me slightly."
"And that would be?"
"Women." Vincent answered.
"It is felt that in the halls of such a warrior's order, women could
prove a distraction. Until Prozium is developed, fully tested and
"A bridge that will be
crossed when we come to it, you trouble yourself with fine details,
while missing the larger picture. If having female Clerics causes an
imbalance, we shall simply rectify it later." The older man smiled and
sat down behind his desk. "We stand on the threshold of a great and
perfect society, I will not let anything stand in the way of it...and
if it means burning all of those things, that allow our people to feel,
so be it."
Vincent blinked a little and
shook his head. "But that is...counter to the way we were brought up,
Father...to take such drastic steps, we would have to arrest and..."
Father cut him off sharply.
"Vincent...my friend." His tone was dangerous once more. "You forget
that we are the law, if they do not comply they are a danger to the
greatness that we shall create. And like a cancer, what do you do with
"You treat it with drugs..."
"And if the drug fails?"
"You cut it out." There was
a lonely tone to the younger man's voice and he stood straight, the
final dawning realisation in his eyes was a signal for Father to speak
"The Clerics and Sweepers
shall be the rod and sword of our society, those who fail to conform
will be prosecuted, and burned alive in the City furnaces. We do not
have room for pity, we do not have room for mercy and most of all, and
we do not have room for them." He almost hissed as he rose from his
chair again, placing both hands on the tabletop.
"I understand." That was all
Vincent could say, beads of sweat gathered on his forehead.
"Yes, and those
things...those items and possessions that are non-conformist shall be
rated, and destroyed also. EC-10 will become the new saviour of
morality, a hope that shines like a beacon in the night. Any who hoard
these things, shall be declared an enemy of our society and there will
be no reprieve for them."
Vincent nodded again, meekly
now, Father's demeanour had changed, and this put a great deal of worry
into his friend's heart. But he held his composure, he must see it
through, the other was too horrible to contemplate.
"You will report your
findings upon a successful test of the Prozium, take your candidate off
the street and administer the drug, monitor and keep me posted." The
order was given and Father waved his hand, a dismissal of sorts.
Vincent was only too glad to leave, letting the cavernous darkness
beyond swallow him, only the buzz of the bright white lights offered
any kind of reference.
He passed down corridor
after corridor, deeper into the lion's den, that den which also served
as his home. Walking quietly to the labs of the Tetragrammaton and
moreover to the first phial of street ready Prozium. He picked it up,
it gleamed a sickly orange in the sterile light.
Libria, city of a new hope,
the cornerstone and foundation of Father's new order, a thronging place
of hustle and bustle. People were watched closely by the Sweepers, the
foot soldiers of Father's regime, they watched for one foot to step out
of place, and swooped like black leather clad birds of prey to drag the
offender off into the shadows of the city. To face the new justice of
Libria's fair and just Council.
But it was not yet /the/
Libria, that would take a little longer to perfect and it all hinged on
Father's superficial cure for the killer, a drug that was designed to
inhibit the highs and lows of emotion, to render us into no more than
addicted cattle. His plan had not yet come to fruition, they lacked one
vital piece of analytical data - they needed a borderline psychopath
who could be pushed just far enough - so they had an excuse to drag him
They had planned to use a
particular man for this, the only snag was that the Sweepers had
executed him about sixty seconds ago, just as Vincent arrived on the
scene. He was furious inside but kept his emotions in check, just as he
was trained to do.
"This is a particular
mistake, Captain Dannow." He addressed the leader of the black clad,
cycle-helmed Sweepers with a disdain plain in his voice. "That will not
sit well, with...Father."
"He was resisting arrest."
The man hid behind the false power of his position.
"He was perfect and now, we
need another candidate for the street program."
"If Father finds out, it
will be all of our heads. He was chosen especially for his violent
tendencies and his addiction to illegal amphetamines." The young
Council member closed his eyes and rubbed his chin, rounding on one of
the Sweepers randomly.
Councilmember." The man replied, flicking up his visor and managing to
look Vincent in the eyes.
"You'll do." He commanded.
"Now take off your helmet and tilt your head."
The Sweeper obediently did
as he was told, Vincent stepped forwards and before he could be stopped
there was a hiss as the drug's injector snapped the Prozium into the
man's system, he felt a slick sting at the side of his neck and that
"I want him monitored and
sent into the most dangerous situations, and I will deal with the rest
of the paperwork. Captain, you will make sure this is done, or you will
burn in the City Furnace...do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, Councilmember." Came
the automatic response and the Captain looked to Hunt, no pity in his
eyes, just an amused curiosity that prompted the question. "Are there
any side-effects, I should know about?"
"If he rips your head off
and defecates down your neck, you can consider that as a harmful
side-effect." Vincent snapped and walked away, back to the safety of
the car that waited to bear him away from the scene, when he was away
from the public eye, he collapsed in the backseat for a moment.
"Drive." He hissed, and his chauffer did as he was told, without
"I'll be watching you,
Hunt." Dannow narrowed his eyes and turned to the rest of his men. "Ok,
party's over ladies, better get back on patrol. And you, Hunt, you
heard the man. You get to go to the Nethers for as long as it takes,
don't envy you one bit. Must be real bad to be chosen as the Council's
"What ever you say, Captain, Sir." He put his
helmet back on and turned to leave, right then, the light became too
bright even through the visor and his world turned to a spiral of
colours that he couldn't ever imagine. He dropped like a rock.
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